“North of Rome, and up to the River Po, Italy is divided into numerous Fiefs surrounded by vast areas of Wilderness. Many walled cities have held out against the Plague since the Dies Irae, or have been reconquered later on, cleared of the Dead and resettled.
The most common form of government is the Signoria, “Lordship”, that is a small independent state run by an outstanding family that has the support of the people, other aristocrats, the army and the craft guilds. Other forms of government include de facto republics, aristocrats’ oligarchies, military dictatorships or vassalages controlled by foreign podestàs. Usually, however, these Fiefs all look the same: they are well organized city-states, surrounded by a small area of farmland and walled villages, and the whole is constantly patrolled by foot soldiers, men-at-arms, knights and mercenary companies.
Competition is strong among Italian Signorie, but on the other hand each of them has land enough to expand on that it doesn’t have to encroach on the nearby ones: all it has to do is to select one on the numerous areas of Wilderness surrounding it and try to reconquer it.
In Italy there are scores of small Fiefs, from Ferrara, that takes pride in its air ships which can fly attached too great balloons filled with alchemic vapors, to the pacific Abrahamic Republic of Salerno, a place of science, peace and neutrality where Jews, Christians and Saracen live in harmony together; from Pavia, renowned for its Cardan Laboratories, where war automatons, mechanical devices and analytical engines using punched cards are built, to Brescia, which is famous for its foundries, factories and firearms laboratories belonging to the Beretta family; from the Bandits’ Republics of Central Italy to Spoleto, main center for all charlatans, ruled by “His Magnificence” Cesare Carlomagno Von Wittengstein, the “Archduke of all Charlatans”; and there are many more…”
Down here in Italy, GG Studio has released a certain number of books for Ultima Forsan, my first professional role-playing game / Savage Setting. One of my favourites is Ultima Forsan: Italia Macabra, and I love it because it’s a huge gazetteer with a lot of crunch and fluff on my own country.
I actually don’t know if it will be translated in English, soon or later, but here you can find a pay-what-you-want release concerning the double map in the book: of course it’s a map of Macabre Italy, with all its Feifs, Wilderness and Cities of Sorrow.
I hope you will enjoy it!